A friend posted this beautiful piece on Facebook recently, reminding me how much I’m always so moved it. It’s by the contemporary Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. Called “Spiegel Im Spiegel” (“Mirror in the Mirror”), it refers to the infinity of reflections that happen when you have many mirrors reflecting off each other.
It also reminds me of the Buddhist image of Indra’s Net, which is a metaphor for the interconnectedness of all life. Imagine there’s a huge net that has a mirror at each node, and each mirror reflects all the others. We can imagine that each of us, as a single human being, is one of those mirrors. We infinitely receive and reflect back the images in all the mirrors of all other beings in a vast and interconnected web of life.
The whole piece is based on a repeating triad of three notes on the piano, and a solo violin which plays a simple ascending or descending scale above it. It’s so remarkably simple, and SO tranquil and beautiful. I think the “mirror in the mirror” title refers to how a very subtle change in just one note of the piano or the violin ripples outward and shifts the whole tonality of the piece, which then keeps rolling onward in ever changing waves.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.